Ancient Monuments

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Eilean Donnan, remains associated with Castle Donnan

A Scheduled Monument in Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, Highland

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Latitude: 57.2741 / 57°16'26"N

Longitude: -5.516 / 5°30'57"W

OS Eastings: 188130

OS Northings: 825853

OS Grid: NG881258

Mapcode National: GBR D9RH.J4W

Mapcode Global: WH0B9.7FLH

Entry Name: Eilean Donnan, remains associated with Castle Donnan

Scheduled Date: 20 February 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7575

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort); Secular: castle

Location: Kintail

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument consists of the remains associated with the medieval castle of Eilean Donnan and its predecessors.

The majority of the Castle was rebuilt in the early decades of the twentieth century but the rest of the island appears to have been little disturbed. There is clear indication of the remains of man-made structures to the N of the present castle. The whole island though, being small, is likely to retain concentrated evidence of its history of occupation.

The area to be scheduled includes the entire island with the principal exclusion of the present castle itself. Also excluded are the terrace between the SW wall of the Castle and sea and the above-ground structures of the MacRae War Memorial, the slipway and the various flood-lights. The area is irregular in shape and measures approximately 120m N-S by 80m at its greatest extent, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it is a site with a long history of occupation. Reports of vitrified material and shell middens point towards a prehistoric settlement while the 13th-century castle suggests similarities with other sites such as Eilean Tioram in Moidart.

The castle was the main social and political focus for Kintail throughout the later Middle Ages and was still habitable until 1719, when it was involved in the abortive Jacobite rising. The monument is of interest in the study of settlement and defence in the Highlands and Islands throughout this long period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NG 82 NE 3.


Hume, J. (1977) The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, ii, 290.

MacGibbon & Ross (1899) Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, iii, 82-85.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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